Firefighters have rescued a young boy who tried to run to the middle of a frozen lake and got trapped when the ice broke up.
The boy's friend dialled 999 after he became stuck on an island of ice in the lake at Laindon near Basildon, Essex on Wednesday afternoon.
Firefighters from the water rescue team used inflatable sledges to wade out and rescue the boy, who was freezing cold but unhurt.
Tony Clark, area manager for Essex Fire Service, said: "The boy today has been extremely lucky that he didn't fall into the water and his friend was sensible enough to call 999.
"I don't even want to think about what we could have been called to if he had fallen in.
"There is just no way you can tell if the ice can take your weight or not - by the time you find out it can't, it's too late.
"We know an iced over lake might look appealing, but just a few minutes in icy water can kill.
"Our warning to people is to not go on icy ponds or lakes in any circumstances, just by taking one step onto the ice you are risking your life - it's simply not worth it."